One of our dog’s favorite things to do is chase a soccer ball in our backyard. It’s Jedi’s favorite pastime – I kick the ball to him and he runs after it with a squeaky toy in his mouth. He loves sprinting from one end of the yard to the other to catch and stop the soccer ball, and he’s surprisingly good at trapping the ball with his front – or back – paws.
Then he gets ready as I walk over to him to do it again. Back and forth we go, from east fence to west fence. Sometimes I exercise along with him, sprinting across the yard or doing walking lunges while going back and forth.
A few weeks ago I was kicking the ball to him and enjoying the cool fall evening. The sun was descending quickly, creating a golden explosion in the western sky. Cardinals chirped brightly in the trees behind our yard, saying goodbye to the day. Something was heavy on my heart, and I was praying and giving the situation to God.
As I turned to walk back across the yard, I let my eyelids drop. Darkness invaded as my other senses exploded. With eyes closed, I slowed my steps but still moved forward, the cool wind brushing my face. Because I know our yard so well fear didn’t enter my mind. I’ve walked across my backyard hundreds of times, wearing a path in the grass as I kick the soccer ball back and forth.
The only thing that could trip me would be my own feet.
As I walked blind across our backyard I experienced the strong, ironic sensation of freedom. How that was possible? It’s because I knew where I was walking and my body knew the terrain. It felt wonderful and freeing to walk forward in faith, knowing the path beneath my flip flops was sure and unchanging.
For we walk by faith, not by sight. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:7
Later I went to my Bible and read 2 Corinthians 4:16-5:8. Paul writes about our earthly bodies and the reality that they don’t last forever. The fact is that the human mortality rate is 100 %. But Christ followers are promised that, “even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day” (4:16).
God renews our mind through His word, so that we can walk by faith in Him and His word and not by fallible human sight. As I read through the passage, my eyes stalled on the phrase ‘day by day.’
When I neglect to renew my mind in His word daily, I end up looking around wildly. I walk spiritually blind and bump clumsily into things and people, wondering, Where am I, Lord? What’s happening? What should I do?
Recently life’s steady speedwalk turned into a full-out sprint, and my Bible remained closed too much throughout the busy week. My spiritual eyesight has clouded and I find myself staggering around, lost. I struggle to see what God has for me with dimmed, earthly eyes, and the picture is completely unclear.
I’m walking by sight and not by faith. Oswald Chambers wrote that “faith is the entire person in the right relationship with God through the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.”
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways. ~ Psalm 128:1
We can’t walk by faith unless we’re in God’s word and steadying ourselves on the only sure, unchanging ground found on earth – Jesus. The Bible is our Creator’s heart for His creation, and when we’re in it daily, He equips us to walk by faith and not by sight.